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BNP Paribas Creates 110 Billion Euro Asset Manager

The French bank is the latest to consolidate its investment boutiques.

The asset management arm of French bank BNP Paribas has merged staff and operations of three divisions to create a new €110 billion ($129 billion) investment group.

The move, part of a larger effort to streamline the asset manager’s corporate structure, merges BNP Paribas Asset Management’s existing smart beta unit, THEAM, with its multi-asset team and botique subsidiary CamGestion to form a new multi-asset, quantitative, and solutions unit, known as MAQS.

In a statement, the firm said that MAQS will be one of four investment groups within the asset management business, alongside equities, fixed income, and private debt and real assets. Denis Panel, the current chief executive and CIO of THEAM, will become the new head of the MAQS division.

The consolidation is the latest in a series of moves to restructure BNP Paribas’s investment management groups. In 2016, Reuters reported that the firm was rejigging its wealth management business. Then, in June, the bank rebranded BNP Paribas Investment Partners as BNP Paribas Asset Management.

In a statement announcing the latest change, Panel said the combination of the three businesses is an effort to better meet client demand.

“Investors are seeking investment solutions that better address their specific needs,” he said. “Combining our capabilities into a single investment group will allow us to better meet investors’ needs by generating alpha and revenue, protecting capital, controlling risk, and providing beta exposure.”

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Panel said that the unit’s investment approach will combine quantitative and fundamental investment techiques to offer clients a range of “innovative” investment solutions.

The combined groups have roughly €110 billion in assets under management as of the end of September, with 130 employees in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Hong Kong, according to the statement.

MAQ’s mutli-asset investments will be led by Christophe Moulin, while the quantitative and index-based strategies will be run by Isabelle Bourcier. Structured investments will come under the management of Gilles David, and the solutions and client advisory team – offering tailored investment plans for pension funds and insurance companies – will be led by Anton Wouters.

BNP Paribas Asset Management’s announcement came just 24 hours after Bloomberg reported that Bank of New York Mellon is bringing together three of its investment boutiques: Mellon Capital Management, Standish Mellon Asset Management, and the Boston Company. The newly combined business will manage some $560 billion in assets.

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